Thursday, November 10, 2011

TNT Thursday

It's Thursday so that means another round of Trying New Things Thursday!!!  Yippee Skippee!!  I am so excited for this week's TNT because I tried something that I have wanted to do for a long time.  What is it you ask???  I tried out my first Swap Experience!!!  And it was so much fun!!!!!  I can't believe I haven't done one of these already.

My first swap was the Post Sewing Summit Swap.  We could make mini's or little bags.  I opted for a mini.  My partner, SzyHomemaker, who pretty much let me know she would be happy with anything. (which I have to admit took off some of the pressure for this first timer :)  I  really wanted to use some of the fabric I got at the Sewing Summit for my mini. So I went with the Fat Eights we got at Material Girls during the Shop Hop. I really wanted a piece of  my Sewing Summit Experience to belong to my partner. So with the fabric chosen I was on to picking a design    I have wanted to make a Swoon block for some time and I  figured it would work perfect for a mini. Here's how it turned out.  
 I also tried somenew quilting with just some random straight lines.  It was hard for me to keep it random but I had fun with it once I was able to let go of my need for everything to be symmetircal.   (And I am just realizing that this is actually  3 TNT's in 1, New Swap, New Pattern, and New Quilting, Woo Hoo!! :)  I added some Flurry with the package since everyone is starting to get ready for the Holiday season and some chocolate to keep Suzy sewing late into the late night hours :)
And the coolest part of the swap is getting your own package in the mail.  This arrived from Mary Catharine the other day and boy was I excited!!!  The mini is gorgeous.  I absolutly fell in love with the purples and I love Dresden's!!!   And the extra's were a wonderful suprise.  Beautiful fat quarters and those Aero Chocolate Bars happen to be my favorite chocolate bar and you can't buy them in the States.  Whenever we visit my Mom's family in Canada I always stop at the C-Store to pick some up.  Now I don't have to wait for my next visit!!!
Look, she even bound it with a super adorable flange!!!  How cute is that!!!!
And here it is matching perfectly on my purple sewing room wall and with my purple sewing machine.  It is so fun to see it every time I sit at my machine.  Thank you a million times over Mary Catharine!!  I love it!!!  
So that's what I was Trying New this week.  Let's see what you have been up to!!!  Go ahead and link up your post of what you Tried New this week.  Remember it doesn't have to be anything big and it doesn't have to be quilting.  Let's see it all!!!

And since Amy from Amy Lou Who has posted this mini quilt challenge, I figured I would add my little mini to the bunch!!!  Thanks for having such a fun party Amy!!!
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

WIP Wednesday

My Mother is visiting this week (Yippee Skippee) and she brought with her a fabulous roll of  fabric that she found in Salt Lake that perfectly matches the color on the nursery walls.  So I bet you can guess what that roll is going to turn into . . .  Bumper pads, Crib Skirt, and Curtains.  And of course, from my stash I pulled some wonderful prints to make a matching Crib Quilt!!  I am so excited!!!  So add a Baby Room Makeover to the Works in Progress!!!  (But hopefully it won't stay for long :)

I also managed to move a few of the projects to the Completed Stage!!!  Yippee Skippee!!!

Designing Stage
  • Baby Quilt for Special new Niece arriving in March 
  • Baby Quilt for Special new Niece arriving in April
  • Circle Meets Square Quilt
  • 4th of July Table Runner for Sister-In-Law 
  • Christmas Tutorial
  • Sewing Summit Projects  - Bee Bolt Block and Bag Makeover
Piecing Stage
  • Stars Quilt-A-Long
  • Hugs and Kisses Quilt for Grandma
  • Going Places Quilt
  • High Flying Quilt
  • Baby Room Makeover - Crib Bedding and Curtain
Quilting Stage

Completed Stage
  • Secret Project B
  • Secret Project C  
  • Secret Project A 
  • Sewing Summit Project Mini - (more on this tomorrow)

And a special Congrats to Lee at Freshly Pieced!!  This is her 1 year anniversary of WIP Wednesday linky!!!  Check it out by clicking on the link below!!

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Special Day

Sorry it has been a little while since I have posted.  Things were crazy busy this weekend. (But super fun as well!!)   I had some of my family in town for the blessing of our sweet little Jocelyn.  Here is the family picture we got for the special occasion.  I tell you, with each additional child it gets harder and harder to get a picture where everyone is A - looking at the camera and B - smiling.  But it will work :)  It was a wonderful day and it was so wonderful to have so much family there with us.

And of course with family, comes germs!!   Do you ever notice that every time you get together in big groups everyone ends up coming down with something.  (Or is that just us??)  We ended up with a 24 hour flu bug going through quite a few of the members of the family, including me last night and this morning.   Thankfully, my Mom is staying with us this week!!!  It is so much easier being sick when you have your Mommy there!!

I am starting to feel human once again so tings should be back on course tomorrow!!

Have a Happy Quilting Day!!!  (I know, I am hoping to :)
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Christmas Star on TNT Thursday!!

So once again I already had a little something lined up for this Thursday so you are in luck with another Tutorial!!!  I call it The Christmas Star Block!!!

I was thrilled to be asked to participate in designing a Christmas Block for the Celebrate Christmas Quilt A-Long at the Quilting Gallery.  I am one of 36 designers for this little Quilt-A-Long.  How fun is that!!!  And the blocks are all amazing.  You can check them out in the Flickr Group here :)  And those that complete their blocks are entered into a giveaway, (which we all know we love).  So without, further ado . . .  Let's get to the Christmas Star Tutorial!!

The Christmas Star block is a variation on a spider web block.  I used the same method but changed it up some.  I hope you have some fun putting this together!!

What you will need :
   A 13" x 13" square of white 
   Larger scale scraps of Green
   Larger scale scraps of Red
   Gold Thread (optional)

Start by cutting your 13" x 13" square of white twice diagonally as shown below.  

Now you will have 4 triangles. On the wrong side of the fabric measure a 1/4" up from the bottom center and mark a dot.  Then measure 3" down from the top center on either side and mark a dot on either side.  Now draw a line on both sides of your triangle connecting the 3" mark to the 1/4" mark.  (See below)

And now you are ready to start adding your fabric.  Start with your red scraps.  With the wrong side of your scrap fabric to the right side of your white square, cut a scrap that is about 1/2" around then the left side of your now divided triangle.  It doesn't have to be perfect just so long as it is bigger than the white.

Now flip your red scrap backwards, just like you were opening a hinge.  Now the red scrap should be right sides together with the white triangle and you should have about 1/4" to a 1/2" overhang from your drawn line.  (This can be a bit tricky so see the picture below to clarify any confusion :)  Once your pieces are aligned go ahead and pin and then sew a line directly on top of the drawn line.

Now once again, flip your piece back over, hinging at the seam line.  Press your seam.  Your red scrap piece should still be larger than the white triangle on the 2 sides that are not sewn.  Repeat the last 4 steps for the other 3 white triangles.

Now grab your green scraps.  Cut and add the green fabric to the right side of your four triangles using the same method you used for the left side of the triangles.

Once your fabrics are pressed you can trim them.  Align your ruler up along each side of the white triangle and trim off the excess overhang of scrap fabric.

To help avoid bulk, I remove the excess white fabric that was used as a foundation :)  Simply trim the left and right side of just the white fabric away about a 1/4" from the drawn and sewn line :)

Now you should have 4 triangles with red on one side and green on the other.  Arrange them as follows and then set them aside for a few minutes :)

So now we are going to make some small Half Square Triangles for the center of your block. From your green and red scraps, cut out 4 2 1/2" squares, 2 of each color.

Place the green and the red squares with right sides together making 2 sets that each have a green and a red square.  Draw a  line diagonally on the wrong side of each set of 2.  Pin on either side of the line.  Then sew a 1/4" seam on both sides of the line.

Now cut along the line on both sets and then press your new HST's open.

And now you just have to trim them.  We want to have 2" HST's so align the 45 degree line on your ruler up with the diagonal seam on your HST.  Make sure the sides that you are not trimming are outside of the 2" mark on your ruler.  Trim along the 2 sides of your HST.

Now just spin your HST 180 degrees so that you can trim your 2 remaining untrimmed sides.  Once again, align your 45 degree line on your ruler up with the seam of your HST and this time align your already trimmed sides with the 2" mark on your ruler.  Once it is all line up go ahead and trim the remaining 2 sides of your HST.

Now you are going to applique the HST into the corner of your block.  To do this take your 4 perfect little HST's and place them on the top of your 4 triangle blocks aligning the edges and making sure that the red is on the left and the green is on the right, so it opposite of your triangle sides :)  Go ahead and pin the HST's  in place.

Now use some choice of anchor stitch and stitch along the 2 inner seams to secure the HST's in place.  I used a decorative star stitch and used gold thread to really give it some punch.  You can use normal thread if you don't have gold and if you don't have decorative stitches you can simply use a zig-zag stitch or a blanket stitch :)  (I don't have stars on my machine, I had to go down to my wonderful Mother-in-laws to do this part :)

Now, once again, to avoid bulk, trim out the excess white fabric about 1/4" from the anchor stitching.

Now you are ready to sew the 4 triangles in your block together.   Lay them out to make your block (the same as you did earlier).  Now simply lay the bottom triangle over onto the right hand side block with right sides together.  Pin the seam line taking special care to match up your seams.  It is most important that your seams line up so that your star doesn't have weird points.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge and then press.  Repeat this same process with the top and left hand triangles.

So now you have 2 halves that should look like this.  You know what to do :)

Place the triangles with  right sides together.  Pin the edge, once again taking care to make sure you align the seams!!  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.  Press.

And now your block looks like this.  You can be done here if you would like :)

But if you want to get it that extra finishing touch, you can once again, stitch a decorative stitch along the outside of the star as follows.  It is just a fun finish :)

And there you have it!!  One beautiful 12" finished Christmas Star Block!!  Happy Quilting!!!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and enjoy making your own The Christmas Star Block!!  And remember, when you are done to add it to the Celebrate Christmas Quilt-A-Long Flickr group  and while you are at it, I would love it if you added it to my Happy Quilting Tutorial Flickr page.  I love seeing different renditions of my tutorials :)  

So . . . to some TNT goodness!!   This is the new thing I tried.  And I tell you, it is a lot of fun to take a method you have done before and then just change it up a bit.  And it makes a completely different result as well.  Awesome!!!

So now let's see what you did!!  Add your TNT Thrusday post below and remember to link back here in your post somehow.  Then show your fellow TNT participants some comment love :)

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hello November

Seriously, where did October go???  Hope you all had a Happy Halloween!!  I know our little ones had a blast!!  And now, we have way to much candy.  I will have sugar high kids for at least 2 months.  Maybe this year Santa will be putting Halloween candy in stockings :)

Not the greatest picture but they were all so excited, so I figure we were lucky just to get them to all stand in one place for than 10 seconds.  
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